Up to 49 jobs could be lost at Roberts Bakery in Northwich, after Frank Roberts and Sons announced it was entering into a period of consultation with staff.

In March 2010, the bakery announced an £8.5m modernisation project at its Northwich site, which currently employs 814 staff.

The bakery said the changes were being made as part of a business reorganisation project linked to the modernisation of equipment in certain parts of the bakery.

MD Mike Braddock told British Baker: “We have invested in new infrastructure, including roads and despatch areas, and new equipment, such as bagging, slicing and basket-washing facilities.

“The bread market is an increasingly tough environment to operate in. Wheat, fuel, gas, electric and oil prices have all gone up. It is vital we remain competitive to secure the long-term success of the company.

“Changes are not likely to take place until September. We expect to lose between 10 and 49 jobs after consultation over voluntary redundancy, natural retirees and temporary staff has taken place.”

The firm acquired Aldreds Bakery, and the central bakery of craft chain P&A Davies in June and October 2010 respectively.

Braddock revealed that Aldreds, which makes morning goods for Sainsbury’s, Aldi and others is now breaking even and P&A Davies, which makes gluten-free rolls and savouries, is expected to break even shortly.

>>Roberts loaves get new look

>>Roberts snaps up central bakery of P & A Davies

>>Roberts sees expanion with Aldreds expansion